The Fourth of July is tomorrow and after doing yard work, enjoying a barbecue and the fireworks, I like to sit back and relax and watch some patriotic movies. I know that a lot of people just celebrate the fact that it’s a holiday but it is also our country’s birthday! Here are some films that you could pick up to commemorate the occasion.
The first is kind of a no-brainer. Independence Day starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman (as the American president) and Jeff Goldblum came out on July 2, 1996 and, while it’s been more than a decade, the film never ceases to entertain and evoke the spirit of patriotism.
The film, which is among the top 20 highest grossing films of all time, is about an alien invasion on Earth. The alien aircrafts take position over our major cities which leads to large-scale evacuations and eventually a plan to fight back against the threat on… the 4th of July, of course!
It’s funny, it’s cheesy, it’s family friendly and it’s action-packed. What more could you ask for?
Whether you watch the 1962 version or the 2003 made-for-tv adaptation, The Music Man is a great film for Independence Day. The plot revolves around traveling salesman, “Professor” Harold Hill, who arrives in River City, IA, in the weeks just prior to the Fourth of July celebration of 1912.
He successfully convinces the town that, in order to save their youth from the “danger” associated with the new pool table, the youngsters must learn to play instruments and perform in a band – with him as the leader! Parents begin handing over money to the stranger who promises to deliver band instruments and uniforms while he teaches the children how to play. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know the first thing about instruments and, before long, he’s facing exposure and arrest. It wouldn’t be so bad if the town (including love interest, Marian) hadn’t been so welcoming.
It’s a great family musical with catchy songs like “Ya Got Trouble” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.”
The Patriot starring Mel Gibson is another excellent option. The film focuses on the real events of the American Revolution (with a little Hollywood “magic” sprinkled in to add some drama) which, of course, is important since it led to America’s independence from the British empire.
The film is set and was actually filmed in South Carolina and follows the story of Benjamin Martin, a war hero whose family gets caught in the middle of the Revolutionary War after his eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), enlists in the military.
If you are one of those people who knows a lot about the lives of celebrities, try to ignore the fact that many of the film’s stars were either born and raised in England or Australia and aren’t actually American at all.
Either way, it is a really great movie and was well-received by viewers and critics – it nominated for Academy Awards for “Best Sound,” “Best Cinematography,” and “Best Original Music Score.”
Those are my three best suggestions but I’d love to hear what you watch and do to celebrate the holiday. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend!